Tourists could be set to splash out £2.4 billion in summer spending spree*

“Ramadan Rush” points towards a healthy summer for UK high streets

Friday, July 21, 2017

New data from Worldpay suggests that overseas visitors could spend as much as £2.4 billion this summer, following a particularly prolific period of shopping by Middle Eastern tourists during the traditional Eid celebrations at the end of June. 

New data from the payments processor revealed an influx of Middle Eastern tourists last month, with visitors from across the region spending 59%** more during the annual “Ramadan Rush.” Luxury boutiques and department stores saw the biggest surge during the Eid festival, with sales increasing by 63% as shoppers profited from the weak pound. 

Worldpay’s analysis of spending patterns in  June 2017 found that spending on foreign cards was up by 18% year-on-year***, with tourists splashing out £643 million on UK high streets*. If this trend continues, then Worldpay estimates foreign card spend could reach £2.4 billion this summer. 

James Frost, UK CMO, Worldpay, said: “Sterling’s slump is continuing to attract visitors in their droves, safe in the knowledge that their holiday cash will stretch a little further. Eid provides a useful barometer for foreign spending more broadly. The latest figures from this year’s festival point towards a summer spending frenzy from overseas visitors looking to cash in on the weak pound.”

Worldpay found that outside of the Middle East, visitors from Russia and the US were the biggest spenders, splashing out an extra 25% and 19% respectively, compared to last year**. 

James Frost continued: “It tends to be London that grabs the headlines when it comes to tourist spending, but the reality is destinations right across the UK are benefiting from an influx of free-spending tourists. Businesses in Scotland and Wales have already seen foreign spending surge by as much as 27% compared to last year**, and this could increase further in July and August. By investing to make their businesses more attractive to global customer, retailers and tourist hotpots across the UK could make serious gains from the pound’s performance this summer.” 

-ENDS-

About the data
*Calculation is based on an assumption for Worldpay’s share of total sales for the period, and that the YoY upward spending trend will continue in July and August. This includes spend on all foreign issue cards in June 2016 and June 2017.
** Analysis of either Middle Eastern, Russian or US card transactions processed by Worldpay during Eid week (24th – 30th June 2017) compared to an average week (10th – 16th June 2017) 
***Analysis of non-UK card transactions processed by Worldpay in June 2017 compared to the same month in 2016

About Worldpay: 
Worldpay is a leading payments company with global reach. We provide an extensive range of technology-led payment products and services to around 400,000 customers, enabling their businesses to grow and prosper. We manage the increasing complexity of the payments landscape for our customers, allowing them to accept the widest range of payment types around the world. Using our network and technology, we are able to process payments from geographies covering 99% of global GDP, across 146 countries and 126 currencies.  We help our customers to accept more than 300 different payment types.
Worldpay UK helps businesses of all sizes sell more to their customers by accepting card payments in-store, online, via mail or telephone, and on the move. www.worldpay.com/uk

For more information please contact:
Suraj Mashru, Golin: T + 44 (0) 20 7067 0494
Angela Woodward, Worldpay:  T: +44 (0)203 664 2605